American dynasty? The new John Wayne? Young Armie, of course, has nothing to do with the formation of said dynasty, and probably less to do with the writing of the glossy headline. In short, Armie is beside my point, which is this: The Hammer “Dynasty’s” formation was anything but “American” given its deep, twisted roots in Soviet wheeling and dealing.
Armie’s great-grandfather was Armand Hammer (1898-1990), a legendary Soviet “agent of influence” whose fortune began to accrue while in effect laundering money for Lenin’s nascent Soviet Union — no fan, of course, of the bourgeois likes of Town & Country. Then there’s the magazine’s invocation of John Wayne, a legendary patriot and anti-Communist. So outspoken was Wayne, film historian and Wayne biographer Michael Munn tells us, the actor was actually targeted for assassination by Stalin.
Town & Country’s headline isn’t just an example of tone-deafness. By such discordant chords, our history is written over and forgotten, leaving us oblivious to everything — except, of course, that Paula Deen is a racist.